Newburgh firefighters quit on the job after town refuses to reinstate chief

Volunteer firefighters in Newburgh resigned en masse Monday night after the town's Board of Selectmen refused to reappoint long-time chief, Glen Williamson.NEWS CENTER's Tennyson Coleman reports

NEWBURGH, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Volunteer firefighters in Newburgh resigned en masse Monday night after the town's Board of Selectmen refused to reappoint long-time chief, Glen Williamson.

Williamson says he verbally resigned from the post in August after a heated town meeting, but adds that he never formally resigned, and should have been allowed to continue as chief. He says the decision stemmed from a personal quarrel with Town Manager, Cynthia Grant.

Other volunteer firefighters told our reporters that Williamson had still been working as chief informally and without pay until recently.

"The guy sleeps with his bunker gear ready so he could jump up, throw it on, and go," Scott Reglin.

Reglin was one of the firefighters who resigned at the selectmen's board meeting Monday night.

We reached out to Cynthia Grant, but were not immediately given a response.

The Board of Selectmen released a statement Tuesday afternoon:

"A selectmen's board meeting was held last night to consider reappointment of Glen Williamson as the town fire chief, a position he resigned on August 2, 2016. 

The board was presented with a list of 3 demands by representatives of the fire department. these demands were limiting in having a workable relationship with the chief and were rejected. Because of this rejection, the fire department personnel in attendance resigned en masse.

Officials of the town had been conferring with neighboring towns and their fire departments in anticipation and were notified within minutes of last night's action. The county dispatch center was notified. 

A new fire chief was chosen and will be appointed today."

Some neighbors say they put together a petition to help Williamson be reappointed. They also say there is a petition to have Cynthia Grant removed as town manager.

© 2017 WLBZ-TV


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